There are a number of electrical emergencies that can occur due to various reasons. Each of them needs to be dealt with differently.
- In case the incoming supply of the domestic electricity emits a smell of burning or if you can see any damage which has occurred like copper wiring being exposed or blistering of the wires, an electrician or an emergency phone number should be contacted as soon as possible.
- If there is drilling through a cable, the RCD and the circuit breaker would normally trip. In case it does not trip, then the user should put off the power at the consumer unit. The RCD or circuit breaker should not be reset and nor should the homeowner try to repair the fault as it would require specialized training, skill, knowledge as well as equipment that usually an electrician may have. If it is not repaired, there could be a potential electrical fire caused or electric shocks. There are some homeowners who will try to wrap insulation tape around the terminal strips or the junction boxes. Incase repairs other than what is acceptable is used, the cable will probably be more dangerous than what it was before and even the home insurance could be invalidated as a result.
- If the lights don’t work, it could be as a result of the light bulb fusing or it could be due to tripping of the circuit breaker. The faulty light needs to be switched off and the tripped circuit breaker needs to be located and reset. If it still fails to reset, it may be the result of a fault in the lighting circuits. In that case, all the lights need to be switched off and the circuit breaker needs to be reset again.
- If the circuit breaker or trip-switch trips then the culprit probably is the item that was last plugged in or the last item that was switched on. In this case, the device needs to be switched off or unplugged and the circuit breaker should then be reset. In case after 3 attempts, the circuit breaker still fails to reset, then emergency services needs to be called.
- In case the RCD trips or the trip switch trips, it could be due to excessive earth leakage. This happens due to internal fault of some equipment which is used or water which has leaked into the socket, fixture or equipment. In this case, the cause is to be located, switched off and the RCD is to be reset.
If there are electrical emergency situations which are minor, the registered electrician can be called and asked to visit as well as check out the fault. However, in cases of emergency situations where lives could be endangered, it is essential to call the emergency number.
Incase trees have fallen and taken down power lines due to storms or other reasons, the power lines will remain live and can cause electrocution or serious injury to people who even touch the tree branch. This needs to be dealt with exclusively by the electricity company.
In case of power outages the homeowner needs to be prepared by having a torch ready and all the cooling and heating appliances need to be switched off. The television, electronic devices and electrical equipment need to be turned off and unplugged and the electricity distributor needs to be contacted so that they are aware of the situation and can deal with it. In case of outages, it is necessary to have a mobile phone handy to contact an electrician, which will not need electricity in order to operate.